Centuries – The Lights Of This Earth Are Blinding

It has been four and a half years since hardcore fury Centuries scorched this earth with their debut album Taedium Vitae, time we can say thanks to its successor which has not seen the band mellow a degree. In fact The Lights Of This Earth Are Blinding reveals the band’s sound has become even more sonically and emotionally irritable yet honed into a tempest of noise and intent as precise in its aim and impact as it is rousing in its nagging causticity.

The years between releases has also seen the 2008 formed band’s line-up evolve to now include members based in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania and Nashville, Tennessee, and Manchester in the UK. Similarly the Centuries sound has grown and matured; its dark hardcore breeding embracing even richer crust and metal hues amidst bolder adventure. It is imposing, invasive, and persistently tormented; a harrowing and severely intense mix which also manages to be violently infectious and increasingly cathartic. Carrying a theme of constant self-doubt, “It follows how we choose to accept our loses and the reaction to life, as well as the journey we take to make peace with the demons we’ve made”, the air is a searing soundscape once more within their creative tempest just one more grievous, blacker, and inescapably compelling.

Recorded with by Kris Hilbert at Legitimate Business (Catharsis, Torch Runner, The Body) last year and mastered by Brad Boatright at Audiosiege (Integrity, Black Breath, Halshug), The Lights Of This Earth Are Blinding first scores the senses with its title track. Initial silence soon brews an electronic lure, its impending incursion quickly joined by vocal irritancy and a raw scarring of guitar. Just as swiftly it all unites in an insatiable charge, rhythms wildly yet precisely flung as acidic grooves tempt and abrase but an inhospitable surge as catchy and irresistible as it is punishing, and quite superb.

The outstanding start continues with Wooden Hands; it’s first coaxing an intimate acoustic melody, its second down an inviting line offering a furious expulsion of senses crippling beats, scavenging riffs, and vocal discontent. As the first, it has an instinctive infectiousness, an organic swing to a sonic chastisement which grips the imagination and manages to enhance rather than defuse the song’s vehemence.

Bygones is next up with barely two minutes of infernal confrontation. It is barbarous and unforgiving yet too has that contagious ability to tease and manipulate with virulent traits before Soil unleashes its own ruinous tirade. With a sludge thick weight but no less boisterous in its creative and physical mauling, the track prowls the listener, stalking their psyche before giving it a hellacious clubbing. As in all tracks though, the mayhem is finely sculpted and skilfully woven, every twist a fresh coercion into the heart of turbulence.

The following Bow Across A String sends a cascade of corrosion across the senses, every rhythm and riff putting them under duress but equally exciting them while each unpredictable turn in its caustic exploration has ears hooked and imagination challenged and aroused. Closing on the most excruciatingly intrusive yet addictive repetitious sonic yawn, the track leads into the meandering arms of The Climb. Its grooved vining wraps around the senses with ease as vocals scour their lining, muggy smog emerging to envelope the inviting bait and subsequently collude with equal potency with them as the track worms its nefarious way under the skin.

A delicious causticity of bass opens up The Endless Descent, its insidious grumble soon met by the raw throated assault of vocals and together triggering another highly addictive scourge of deliciously grooved bullying which only gets more captivating and debilitating by the second. That majestic ability to entangle extremes continues through the portentously shadowed May Love Be With You Always, its relentless rhythmic shuffle alone sheer captivation matched by the tapestry of guitar and groan of the menace brooding bass. The track is a maelstrom of sound and intent, a vortex of intensity which ebbs and flows but persistently pressures and pleasures as a host of flavours infuse its incursion.

A sepia toned clean vocal beckoning opens up Fury next, its dusty air shared by another mesmeric acoustic melody. It is an enthralling request for attention which boils up its emotions and air into a melancholically hazed wind and a proposition which bewitches before evolving into the rapacious climate of Nul Orietur. The outrage is a cyclone of suggestion and provocation, from the rolling enterprise of its rhythms and the inescapable snaring of its hooks and grooves to the scalding touch of its riffs and vocals, the album’s closer is another compelling assault to lead the album out on another major high.

With their debut Centuries made a major introduction to themselves, with The Lights Of This Earth Are Blinding they have uncaged one of the essential hardcore furies of this or any year.

The Lights Of This Earth Are Blinding is out now via Southern Lord Recordings and available @ https://centuriessl.bandcamp.com/album/the-lights-of-this-earth-are-blinding

https://www.facebook.com/centuriesfl

Pete RingMaster 31/01/2018

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Torch Runner – Committed To The Ground

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There is nasty, there is vicious, and then there is Torch Runner, a band where sonic violence is seemingly an instinct which just has to be expelled and in the most striking and invigorating way going by debut album Committed To The Ground. Hailing from Greenboro, N. Carolina, the trio of vocalist/bassist Rob Turner, guitarist Scott Hughes, and drummer Josh Platt is an aural pestilence which gets into every bone, synapse, and emotion to splinter, wither, and savage respectively. Committed To The Ground was first released to strong acclaim in 2012 on vinyl only but their recent signing with Southern Lord ahead of a brand new encounter in the Autumn, has opened up a new worldwide CD release for the band’s startling debut. This enables all of us who missed out the first time around to have our senses and bodies violated in a manner they are definitely not but could easily become accustomed to.

Torch Runner and their ferocious brew of hardcore, metal, and dirt clad punk caught attention initially with a nine-track EP at the beginning of 2010. Locust Swarm shook the underground scene and instantly pulled an eager focus upon the band which a split with Young And In The Way the following year added more energy and urgency to. As mentioned 2012 was the initial launch of Committed To The Ground, a bruising malicious onslaught which thrust the band into another intensive spotlight. Ahead of the new album the band recorded with Kris Hilbert, it sends out a timely reminder and introduction to fans and newcomers to ignite their anticipation for a new fury you can be sure will be as pleasingly vitriolic and damaging.

Everything about the album from its opening second to the intrusive last is agreeably toxic, its veins running wild with a venom which spews destruction physically and mentally against seemingly everything, be it religion or society. Opening track Current simply goes for the jugular from its first breath, the visceral roar of Turner savaging ear and air as his bass equally imposes a heavy lure whilst the guitar of Hughes scars and cremates the senses with pure animosity. Spearing and entangling all of this is the breakneck attack of Platt whose skills and physical malice makes a tsunami look weak. Forty five seconds long, representative of the album which delivers twelve torrents in less than twenty three minutes, the track provides more thrilling devastation and crippling intensity in its grind/crust fused ravaging than hordes of releases can do across their whole body.

The impressive start is soon kicked up a gear in spite and enticement by firstly the hellish unbridled attack of Incendiary and the following corrosive tempest that is Feeding where grooves and rhythms represent the title by ripping apart and feasting on senses and psyche with vicious jaws of sound and might. The pair is in turn then exceeded by the outstanding Canon Cast which emerges from instantly intimidating sonic smog with venomous grooves and blistering riffs which converge together for a predatory prowl directed by the increasingly raw scowling tones of Turner. All the while the guitar winds cruel temptation around the imagination, unleashing grooves which just as purposefully stalk mind and emotions.

Clocked In follows suit, blending in a rapacious dark stealth with untethered hostility as it crawls over the senses snarling and ripping slices from their defences. Its climax expels an acidic flume of enterprise but it is the heavily brooding basslines and rabidity driving guitar and drums which sculpts another prominent highlight on the album, one matched by the excellent title track. Its haunting stark opening premise is soon the canvas for a lumbering bestial bass scourge to roam, its threat then enclosed in a sonic fog. Holding the thick substance of sludge and heavy noxious darkness of doom, the track spreads like poison through pores and psyche, its lumbering malignancy defined further by swathes of guitar contempt and vocal rancor. It is a riveting despoiling, one that has you mesmerised whilst it rips out your soul.

The torrential sonic maiming of Rede and similarly ruinous assault of Harrow keep senses cowering and thoughts fascinated, both equipped with short grooves and rhythmic enticements which again tempt as they decimate whilst the transfixing The Holy Are Broken in similar vein to the title track, brews a cancerous consumption of heavy invasive flavourings into a unrelenting laboured march which simply ignites the imagination and appetite for more of their slow and erosive invention. The main and only fault of the album is that with the majority of tracks so short and intent on causing the most violent results quickly, many never have time to show something unique which makes them blend together without distinguishing elements no matter how good they are, as evidenced by the final three songs. When like their predecessor the band takes a premeditated slow stalking as the core, tracks leap out to a new plateau, something hopefully the new album will show more of.

The threesome of Tolled, Pulpit Plague, and Vestige are ferocious treats to end the album, even with that just mentioned element, the first of the trio especially incendiary to the passions with its vitriol swinging gleefully from guitar scrubs and rhythmic spite.

We like a great many are newcomers to Torch Runner and now have a greedy anticipation for their new release thanks to Southern Lord and the reprise of Committed To The Ground. If a mix of Napalm Death, Weekend Nachos, and Kunz sounds tasty, then this is a band and release for you.

Committed To The Ground is available digitally @ http://torchrunner.bandcamp.com/ and physically via Southern Lord @ http://southernlord.bandcamp.com/

https://www.facebook.com/torchrunnernc

8.5/10

RingMaster 23/05/2014

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

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